The Wayward Princess

written by LDEJRuff

Chapter 3: The Journey Home

Timon and Pumbaa, who have started a newfound friendship, were laying and floating in a stream. They avoided a crocodile that was trying to eat them, though they didn't know it.

"This is the life, huh?" Pumbaa said to his new friend.

"Yeah," Timon replied. "I thought it was gonna be lonely being alone.

The two came ashore to a patch of land.

"You know what, Timon?" Pumbaa began. "I think if I choose between anything in the world I could ever want and being your friend, I'd choose being your friend."

The two walked to a log, while Pumbaa was walking in the log and Timon walked atop it.

"Well, Pumbaa," Timon said, "I think I'd choose being your friend, too."

Pumbaa was out of the log, and Timon hopped onto his head.

"What'd you say, Timon?" Pumbaa asked.

"Huh? Oh, nothing," Timon replied.

Later, while the two were still walking, they heard Tatiana screaming and stopped short.

"Ooh," Timon said, alarmed. "What was that?"

The two looked inside a lava well and saw that Tatiana was being coiled by the cobra, which had just caught her again.

"Oh, no!" Pumbaa thought in shock. "It's Tatiana!"

Timon gasped in relief. "She's still alive!" he said. He sighed and hugged a very serious Pumbaa.

"It starts," Pumbaa said.

"But, Pumbaa," Timon began, climbing onto his head. "That's the Duke's daughter. If we rescue her, I'll be accepted back into the meerkat colony and get married and be rich, and healthy, and happy, and not alone!"

"Good for you," Pumbaa said, sounding weepy.

However, Timon felt a little guilty, knowing that Pumbaa would be alone again.

"Don't you get it?" Timon said. "You can live at the colony, too. And best of all, no longer will you be an outcast!"

Knowing what Timon said, Pumbaa's expression changed from sad to happy. "YAAAAAAAAAAY!" he said.

"But," Timon began, "how are we going to rescue her?"

The two thought for a moment, and saw some rope that hadn't been used.

"I got an idea," Pumbaa said, then whispered something in Timon's ear.

The two distracted the cobra with a little bouncing. While the cobra followed Pumbaa, Timon was atop Tatiana, reaching his hands for hers. However, Timon's rope snapped, and the cobra took notice. Tatiana was behind Timon, and the two held each other tightly in fright.

"HAKUNA MATATA!" Pumbaa rang loudly while jumping into the well. He grabbed the two meerkats while the cobra was ready to strike.

When it did, it instead bit its body while slashing some lava around. It then looked up in defeat and annoyance, and then, feeling in pain from touching the hot lava, jumped out of the well. Holding its singed tail, the cobra found a lake and landed there. The cobra then felt relieved, that is, until it found out that it was in a crocodile-infested lake. This worried the cobra, and the crocs were getting ready to strike.

With things taken care of, Tatiana rode with Timon on Pumbaa.

"That was close," she said. "The circle of life was flashing before my eyes."

"Well," Timon began, "it's a good thing that Pumbaa and I came to save you."

"I'm glad that you did," Tatiana replied.

"Well, let's go home," Pumbaa said.

"All of us," Timon finished.

"All of us?" Tatiana repeated. "You mean Pumbaa's coming with us?"

"Yes," Timon answered.

"I didn't want to feel alone," Pumbaa said to Tatiana.

Little did they know that Rafiki was watching over the three of them from his tree. "Good luck to you three," he said. "Have a safe rest of the way home."

The three saw that the meerkat colony was not far away from them.

"I'm finally coming home, father," Tatiana thought.

"I'm coming back to the colony I was banished from," Timon thought, "with the Duke's daughter still alive."

"I'm going to have a home again," Pumbaa thought. "And I'm going to have some new friends by my side, too."

However, the two meerkats hid inside Pumbaa's hair, confusing him.

"You, there!" a voice rang, getting his attention. The owner of the voice, the front gate sentry meerkat, was holding his spear, readying it. "Meerkats only! Leave now!" he said.

Pumbaa backed away.

"Wait, stop!" Timon said, popping out of Pumbaa's hair. "He's a friend of mine."

"Timon?" the sentry said, realizing. "No! You are not welcome back into the colony! Get out! You are still banned!"

"Am I?" Timon said, reaching his hand for Tatiana's.

The princess poked her head out, shocking the sentry.

"Princess Tatiana!" he said. "You're still alive. But how?"

"Pumbaa and I rescued her," Timon answered. "We had bravery, cunning, and resource at our side to save her from the cobra."

"That is right," Tatiana continued. "Open the front gate so that Timon can be accepted back in."

"I would, your highness," the sentry replied. "However, I need to okay it with your father, first. He's still sad about your supposed murder."

"Let my father know that I'm still alive," Tatiana requested.

"I will," the sentry replied.

Inside the castle, the still-sad Duke meerkat was still inside Tatiana's bedroom and holding her tiara.

"Sire!" the sentry said, bursting into the room and getting the Duke's attention.

"This had better be important," the Duke said.

"It is, your majesty," the sentry replied. "Your daughter, Tatiana, is still alive, and she is standing in front of the colony gate with Timon and a warthog named Pumbaa. They have rescued her from the cobra!"

This news made the Duke very happy. "Let them in," he declared.

With that, the sentry returned to his post, and opened the gate, while the trumpeters gave a song of celebration. Pumbaa walked inside the colony, with Timon and Tatiana riding on him, while being greeted with happy cheering from the meerkats.

At the back gate, Fred heard cheering from inside. "What's going on in there?" he wondered.

He opened the back gate and saw Timon, Tatiana and Pumbaa inside the colony, and gasped, smiling.

"Princess Tatiana?" he said. "She's still alive! And Timon is with her! I guess it was a brave, cunning and resourceful rescue."

Back inside, Tatiana was pointing to the castle.

"There's my home, Pumbaa," she said. "Stop there so I can greet my father."

Pumbaa does so.

The castle gates open to reveal a very happy Duke. "Sugarplum!" he said.

"Father!" Tatiana said, hopping off of Pumbaa.

Both father and daughter gave each other a hug while Timon and Pumbaa shared smiles with each other.

And, we all know the rest…

The End